more trained teachers are urgently needed to prevent a serious teacher shortage, and
whereas the Ontario faculties of education have enough applicants and capacity to increase
enrolment in pre-service programs but cannot afford to admit more teacher candidates
because of the current funding structure:
Resolved that the Ontario College of Teachers request that the Minister of
Education and Training offer sufficient funding targeted specifically to the Ontario
faculties of education to fund an additional 2,000 spaces in Primary-Junior and core
technological and academic subjects in Intermediate-Senior pre-service teacher education
programs for the next five years commencing with the 1999-2000 academic year to address
the teacher shortage.
Ontario needs to sharply increase the number of teachers
educated in the province to blunt the impact of the massive wave of retirements that will
see half of the Colleges members reach retirement age within 10 years.
The Ontario College of Teachers has responded to the looming shortage of qualified
teachers by calling on Queens Park to fund an additional 2,000 spaces at the
provinces 11 faculties of education starting in September. Council member Wayne
Cornack, who teaches geography at St. Martins Secondary School in Mississauga, moved
the resolution passed by Council on February 26.
"The College study reported in Decembers Professionally
Speaking provides the only credible numbers out there on the supply of
teachers, and they tell us that we need to see a significant investment by the government
in teacher education," he said. "One of the crucial elements of this College
resolution is the call for targeted funding to address the areas of impending shortages
that we have identified. Its also important that this funding be committed for at
least five years, since theres no doubt the shortages will last well beyond that,
and the faculties need stable funding to plan properly."
Council member Cecilia Reynolds is chair of the graduate department at Brocks
faculty of education. She says faculties across the province are looking for ways to
increase enrolment. "Faculties are all saying, We have the know-how and people;
we dont have enough resources to expand and still keep the quality of our programs
"If were going to attract the best and brightest university students into
education, I believe we have to look at measures like increasing funding for scholarships.
Tuition and living costs for another year of university are a significant barrier for many
candidates," Reynolds said.
There are currently 5,918 teacher candidates enrolled in both consecutive and
final-year-concurrent programs at Ontario faculties of education.
College Registrar Margaret Wilson points out that the proposed investment is relatively
modest when compared with initiatives in other jurisdictions. "Ontario teachers are
in high demand throughout the English-speaking world, and about 20 per cent of our 1998
graduates did not register with the College. We assume most went elsewhere to teach.
"We have traditionally looked to immigrants from other countries to fill gaps in
our teaching ranks. About 2,000 new teachers who registered with the College last year had
trained outside Ontario. But when we look at the energetic and innovative ways some other
jurisdictions are attacking their teacher shortages, we realize were going to face
some tough competition."
In Britain, the Blair government has made quality teaching one of its highest
priorities, and on March 31 wrapped up a lengthy consultation on a Green Paper that
contains sweeping recommendations affecting everything from pay to improving
teachers working conditions by doubling the annual investment in school buildings.
his introduction to the Green Paper, Secretary of State for Education and Employment David
Blunkett said, "The government is committed to a substantial programme of investment
in education £19 billion over the next three years because, like you, we
want world-class schools for our children in the new century. In a world of rapid change,
every pupil will need to be literate, numerate, well-informed and prepared for the
citizenship of tomorrow. They will also need the self-esteem and confidence to be able to
learn throughout life, as well as to play an active part at work and in their local
||Some useful web
Teachers: Meeting the Challenge
U.K. Department for Employment and Education
U.S. Department of Education
The South Carolina Center for Teacher
Market Data Retrievals A Look at
Americas Teachers Today provides a useful summary of the massive hiring
that will take place over the next decade in the U.S.
National Commission on
Teaching & Americas Future
"Part of this investment is for a new pay and rewards structure for the
Many teachers reach a scale point beyond which they cannot
progress, however good they are, unless they take on management responsibilities.
Opportunities for professional growth and development are inadequate. Teachers have to
spend too much time on administrative chores. And we are not recruiting enough good
graduates into the profession.
"Teaching is also changing. Investment in technology, classroom support and school
buildings is opening up new possibilities for raising standards and developing
pupils potential. We are looking to teachers to help create the schools of the
IMPROVE STATUS AND MORALE
"These changes must be matched by a new vision of the profession which offers
better rewards and support in return for higher standards. Our aim is to strengthen school
leadership, provide incentives for excellence, engender a strong culture of professional
development, offer better support to teachers to focus on teaching in the classroom, and
improve the image, morale and status of the profession.
"Major reforms are already underway to raise standards, but we can only realise
the full potential of our schools if we recruit and motivate teachers and other school
staff with the ambition, incentives, training and support to exploit this
The Green Paper proposes to add at least 20,000 more teaching assistants to the
U.K.s school system by 2002, establish a National College for School Leadership and
provide systematic career and professional development for teachers.
The British governments proposals include $325 million to boost recruitment in
the short-term, scholarships, and measures to encourage a wide range of applicants for
teaching through more flexible and rigorous training courses and employment-based routes
In the United States, President Bill Clinton issued a Call to Action for American
Education in the 21st Century. He said, "We have an enormous opportunity for ensuring
teacher quality well into the 21st century if we recruit promising people into teaching
and give them the highest quality preparation and training."
The U.S. Department of Education estimates the nation will need 2.2 million teachers in
the next 10 years as teachers retire, student enrolment rises and states mandate smaller
class sizes. The federal government will offer grants to states to allow them to provide
scholarships, high-quality preparation and support services to prospective teachers who
agree to teach in high-need schools.
New York state has proposed a package of financial, educational and workplace
incentives including a range of annual scholarships for qualified students in return for a
commitment to teach in high-need schools. A master teacher program will match experienced
teachers who have special training with new teachers needing mentoring and coaching.
New York will also drop unnecessary barriers to qualified out-of-state teachers
a factor that may affect Ontario, as the average salary for New York elementary teachers
is significantly higher than the average salary for Ontario elementary teachers. New York
city has gone as far afield as Austria and Spain to recruit new teachers.
South Carolinas Center for Teacher Recruitment, the oldest teacher recruitment
program in the U.S., developed a model now being adopted by programs across the country.
It recognizes that students make career choices in high school before, not during
university. Recruitment begins early with education clubs offered to 7th and 8th graders.
High school students take courses that allow them to "test drive" teaching as a
career, exploring current issues in education and innovative teaching practices. A
teaching assistant program in high schools allows high-performing students to assist in
California must add 20,000 new teachers next year alone, and for the first time is
conducting a state-wide advertising campaign to recruit candidates. The state offers
mid-career programs to recruit retiring employees in the high-technology and aerospace
industry to move into teaching.
Colorados Project Promise brings in teachers from fields such as law, geology,
chemistry and medicine. In Illinois, the successful Golden Apple program finds and mentors
promising young people through high school, university and the early years of teaching.
North Carolina offers $30,000 scholarships in return for a four-year commitment to
teach. Massachusetts has announced a $20,000 signing bonus for the 50 top new teachers
chosen in a national search.
In Ontario, publication of the Colleges landmark study already has produced
results. Faculties of education had an increase of more than 40 per cent in applicants for
The College is also participating with a wide range of stakeholders, including the
Ontario Teachers Federation, directors of education and the faculties on the
Ministers Task Force on Teacher Recruitment and Renewal.
The task force is examining the demand and supply of teachers to identify specific
short and long-term strategies, including:
- improving the status of teaching as a profession
- encouraging teachers to teach in Ontario
- creating flexibility in teaching arrangements
- providing incentives to attract teachers to areas of high need such as computers or
- developing candidates for principal and vice-principal positions
- increasing enrolment in faculties of education in targeted areas to meet the most
pressing staffing needs of school boards
- recognizing the specific needs of Catholic and French language boards.
Registrar Margaret Wilson says that the College is interested in seeing the task force
consider many innovative and workable ideas. However, Wilson cautions that the College
will not consider a quick-fix solution of six or seven-week training that puts
poorly-trained young teachers into todays challenging classrooms.
"As the organization charged with regulating the profession of teaching, we
dont believe a band-aid solution will do anything more than put a warm body in an
empty space," says Wilson. "It doesnt provide quality education for
children, and it isnt fair to the young teachers who are unprepared and often